The must-see music documentary of 2013 is ‘Muscle Shoals.’ Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier has assembled the biggest names in music to testify about the magical aspects of recording music way down in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The beats will grab you right where there supposed to! I loved this movie & you will too! Follow me on Twitter @MovieInterview.
Y’gotta love a movie with tons of heart. “Stuck In Love” is just such a movie. It cleverly ties all things together into a gorgeous bow in the shape of a Hollywood ending. Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear) is a very successful writer & pretty pathetic at love. His ex-wife, Erica (Jennifer Connelly) was driven into the arms of another man. Then there’s Bill’s free-spirited daughter, Samantha (Lilly Collins.) When it comes to having sex, she’s a Point A straight to Point B person. She’s not a dabbler. Bill’s son, Rusty (Nat Wolf) is engulfed in his awkward teenage phase.
Bill gets by, sexually speaking, thanks to his frisky neighbor, Tricia (Kristen Bell.) She often stops by to drop off a package, herself. It’s quick, easy & tearing Bill apart inside. Enter Lou (Logan Lerman.) He’s just a nice guy who meets Samantha & sets out to be her friend. It’s great to watch the ice thaw on Samantha over the course of the film. This is a well-written movie & a well-acted movie. It reminds me of ‘Love Actually” & that’s one of my favorites. I highly recommend it. Rated R. Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones. You can also hear me every Saturday host The Film Freak Movie Talk Show every Saturday at 4p PST on KFWB NewsTalk 980 AM Los Angeles or online at www.kfwbam.com
ADAM GREEN’s fast becoming one of the premiere names in the horror movie genre. I sat down with Adam to take about the 2nd season of “Holliston.’ We also dive into “Hatchet 3″ & his very particular taste in movie-blood. What a great guy. I hope you enjoy the interview. For more interviews, follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
I loved World War Z. It’s got everything I want in a Zombie film, without all the slow-paced dread. As in every Zombie epic, when you get bit, you’re baked. Pretty Standard. Gerry Lane (BRAD PITT) is an EX-United Nations Investigator. When the UN-explainable outbreak goes global, Gerry’s ex-boss offers his family safe harbor aboard an aircraft carrier miles out at sea. It’s then when Gerry sets out to trace this virus all the way back to the identity of Patient Zero.
The locales were not as they seemed. The Philadelphia outbreak sequences were actually shot in Glasgow, Scotland. All the signs, billboards & automobiles were switched out to American. In the center of the city, an abandoned bank, which was about 50,000 square feet, doubled as Zombie Headquarters. This abandoned, Old Bank of Scotland was gutted & transformed into 4-floors of film crew catering, rotting wardrobe & intense Zombie make up applications. Another huge sequence in Jerusalem was actually shot in Malta.
What’s interesting to me is the the way each zombie had it’s own story. Mayes Rubeo, the costume designer says, “If you look at every zombie we have, every one of them has a specific design, including the aging of wardrobe, the condition of their clothes & the amount of blood. We wanted to portray each one as an individual in a certain stage of the epidemic.” I kid you not, there’s even a zombie inspired by the very creepy & cold movements of Anton Chigurh, the villain from “No Country For Old Men.”
The next challenge was applying mass behavioral traits to this strain of zombies. Director MARC FORSTER employed a ‘Swarm Theory,’ which is basically a pattern of movement seen in nature…..Forster added, “It’s the way flocks of birds, (schools of) fish or (Armies of) ants move together. There’s almost a swarm intelligence to it. I thought it would be interesting to see these zombies, who have no intellect since they are the walking dead, react in this swarm mentality. ….as a whole, there is an unconscious conscience.” There are scenes that will have you gasping for air & jumping right out of your seat. Perfect Summer Popcorn fare.
“World War Z” is really not that gory at all. In fact, it’s rated PG-13. Brad Pitt said, he did the film so his young sons could enjoy it. Follow Leo on Twitter @leoquinones. It is truly the best way to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.
Man of Steel crushed everything in its wake. HENRY CAVILL talks about landing the role of a lifetime, sizing up the super-suit & what kind of mentor did RUSSELL CROWE turn out to be? Director, ZACK SNYDER talks about his new take on Superman! The Film Freak Movie Talk Show is brought to you in part by the Warner Brothers VIP Studio Tour! It’s the official movie tour of The Film Freak Movie Talk Show. Right now, on display at the WB Museum is Christian Bale’s Batsuit from “The Dark Knight Rises,” and HENRY CAVILL’s suit from “Man of Steel.” If you’re a fan of movies, you’ve got to experience the WB VIP Tour. It’s amazing. www.wbstudiotour.com Follow Leo on Twitter @leoquinones. Of course, Lois Lane wants to know everything about movies, so she follows Leo!
With Marvel’s global success of ‘The Avengers,’ Warner Brothers & DC Comics have so much riding on ‘Man of Steel.’ The filmmakers simply must deliver the goods. I feel that they have. You’ve got all the epic fight sequences, action, special effects, science fiction & pyrotechnics. But you’ve also got an origin story from which you can now build. Let me put it in simpler terms. If you take one step back, you realize, that “Man of Steel’ is the greatest pro-adoption film since 1959′s “Ben Hur. ”
Finally, the credit is given where it is due, to the Kryptonian & human parents of Kal-el/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill). Jor-El (Russell Crowe) provided a chance for his son to prosper with a life on another world. The parenting bond was then handed to earthlings Martha Kent (Diane Lane) & Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) & then finally back to Jor-El. These are the people most responsible for birth of Superman. Flaws are what makes characters more interesting, and it is Clark Kent’s fight within himself that drives this version forward. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) plays the modern day reporter to perfection. Her character’s actions tied everything together is a way that made perfect sense.
As for me, I believe “Man of Steel” is the reason why we go to see movies. It’s another world. It’s OK to fell like a kid again. Give it a shot. I had a complete blast. You will too. One more thing. This could be really dark for younger children. FYI, at the very end of the film, there’s no scene of Superman meeting Batman for hero sandwich, there’s nothing. Hey, one could always hope right? Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones, Lois Lane does!
NO SPOILERS: “The East” is one movie you don’t want to miss. It’s about a group of young people that are sick & tired of corporate raiders getaway with the Earth’s destruction Scott Free! Sarah, (BRIT MARLING) stars as an operative tasked with infiltrating an Eco-terrorist outfit called, The East. Benji (Alexander Skaarsgard) plays the hypnotic leader of the group. He comes across like a powerful prophet hell-bent on tearing down companies that harm people or the planet. No corporate fat cat is safe. The East is a tight thriller with a beginning, a middle & a great ending. I highly recommend it. You can also follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
Director J.J. Abrams knows how to slap together a fun movie. “Star Trek Into Darkness” has most everything. Sometimes I enjoy simplicity. The movie has a beginning, a middle & an end. Less interpretation, more up on the screen. I will say, in this installment, character development was scrapped over more action sequences. But hey, I’m OK with that. It’s time for a summer popcorn movie & it’s not Oscar Season. The heartbeat of the movie is the complex friendship between The Human: Kirk & The Vulcan: Spock. Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto provide the spark that ignites the entire movie.
The Crew of the Starship: Enterprise, headed by Captain James T. Kirk has been given their latest mission. But it’s really less of a mission and more of a Black OP. NO SPOILERS HERE. Trekkies will absolutely love subtle and notso subtle references to the original 1960′s TV series. Maybe they should call him James T. KINK. He just goes for it, every single time & I dig that. I advise you to seek passage aboard the Enterprise & strap in for it’s 5-year mission. I had a complete blast. Just like Scotty, Bones & Ohura you can certainly follow me on Twitter @leoquinones. Q-Out.
Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” takes us back to the year, 1858, two years before the Civil War. I appreciate any attempt to bring back Westerns. It’s a genre ripe for a resurgence. The setting works: A bounty hunter (Christof Waltz) teams up with a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) to capture criminals & ultimately help find & free Django’s slave wife. (Kerry Washington)
There are excellent scenes within the film. You’ll enjoy textbook Tarantino dialogue exchanges. Leonardo DiCaprio turns in an excellent performance as a savvy & sinister slave owner, the callus Calvin Candie.
As a whole however, this wasn’t one of my favorite Tarantino films. Going back a few years, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ was utterly brilliant. The Hans Landa character played by Christof Waltz, in my opinion, should have remained inside the world of ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ Instead, I kept seeing Hans resurface in ‘Django Unchained.’ I know everyone else did too, but won’t admit it. Let’s compare. In ‘Basterds’ he was dubbed ‘The Jew Hunter.’ Here he’s The Bounty Hunter. For some reason I can’t explain, he also hails from Germany. Oh, & he speaks at least (3) languages, just like Hans Landa.
This is just nit-picking now. Why do certain directors always feel compelled to hurl themselves into their own movie? It stymies me. Why does Quentin do this? My first thought every time I see him onscreen in one of his own films is: What is Quentin doing? It catapults me out of the movie! No one in Hollywood will admit this. They all want to work on one of his movies. I’m not an actor. So again I ask Quentin, Why insist? Why?
Final note, “Django Unchained” is still better than 85% of what’s out in theaters. It’s worth watching. You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
As Mel Gibson’s character Porter grumbled in “Payback,” “Dirty Cops. Do they come any other way?” Cop movies most always thrive on Bad Cop Syndrome. They’re either on the take through organized crime or confiscating cash to send their kids to college, ripping off drug dealers or at the very least hiding behind badges as bullies. Those are the reasons why ‘End of Watch’ is such a fresh look at the cop movie genre. The story’s about two partners in the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) & Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) get up every day & do the job. What I loved about the movie is, these guys weren’t looking to score a huge payday & retire. It was quite the opposite. Their idea of ‘hitting it big’ is always in the form of a big bust. These LAPD officers are the good guys.
What I also enjoyed was the balance between action on the streets & verbal action between buddies in the squad car. Spending endless hours on patrol, Brian & Mike talk about virtually anything from sex to Starbucks. These scenes just tick away until the moment something happens. When they get the call, it’s on. NO SPOILERS. I live in Southern California. What happens in Downtown Los Angeles seems a million miles away. It is dark, desolate & dangerous. The actors playing gang members are a constant reminder: Make sure your GPS works, respect their space & stay out of alleys.
On the first night of prep for this film, Jake was on an LAPD ride-along. It’s there where he witnessed a shoot-out between gang members and one person was murdered right in front of his eyes. Gyllenhaal did express experiencing intense moments of fear out in the field. How could you not? The point of exposing yourself to such violence & potential life peril, is to simply funnel all that energy into a performance, which he most certainly did. When they do go out an those calls, I had to remind myself to breathe.
Finally, a cop movie where you’re rooting for cops. The only problem: The bad guys are just too well-funded, too many in numbers, too armed & way too murderous. “End of Watch’ is rated ‘R.’ You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
CAUTION: This is the RED BAND Trailer for “End of Watch”